Melville Cooper

Active - 1932 - 1958  |   Born - Oct 15, 1896   |   Died - Mar 29, 1973   |   Genres - Comedy, Romance, Drama, Adventure, Action

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Biography by Hal Erickson

British actor Melville Cooper was 18 when he made his first stage appearance at Stratford-on-Avon. He settled in the U.S. in 1934, after making an excellent impression in the Alexander Korda-produced film The Private Life of Don Juan. The Pickwick-like Cooper was generally cast as snobbish, ineffectual society types or confidence tricksters; occasionally, as in 1939's The Sun Never Sets, he was given a chance at a more heroic role. Among Cooper's most famous screen portrayals were the Sheriff of Nottingham in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), the amorous Reverend Collins (altered to "Mr. Collins" to avoid censor problems) in Pride and Prejudice (1940), and the officious wedding-rehearsal supervisor in Father of the Bride (1950). Retiring from films in 1958, Melville Cooper returned to the stage, where he essayed such roles as Reverend Chasuble in The Importance of Being Earnest.

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